David Calling

The David Pryce-Jones blog.

French Precision


The latest National Review cruise took in the Rhone, a great river rightly celebrated. There was time to reflect on the scenic glories of France, with the vineyards and castles of Burgundy, and the architecture of Lyons and Avignon where our journey stopped. Also time to recall the wonderful exactitude and attack of which the French language is capable.

Two examples came to mind, and stay there. “Cet animal est méchant, il se défend quand on l’attaque.” Which being translated is, “This animal is wicked, it defends itself when you attack it.” Which is all we need to take on board about Israel, as it continues to have to defend itself from wanton attack as it celebrates its sixtieth anniversary.

And then, “Je préfère les méchants aux imbeciles, car les méchants se reposent de temps en temps, les imbeciles jamais.” Which being translated is, “I prefer the wicked to the imbeciles, because the wicked take a rest from time to time, but the imbeciles never.” And this is all we need to take on board as advice for life.


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